Qatar 'submits request' to purchase F-35 fighter jet from US

Qatar 'submits request' to purchase F-35 fighter jet from US
It follows the UAE's pursuit for the cutting-edge stealth fighter jet.
2 min read
The F-35 is considered the world's most cutting-edge fighter jet [Getty]
Qatar is looking to purchase the latest US fighter jet, the F-35, Reuters reported on Wednesday, following the pursuit of regional rival, the UAE, for the aircraft.

Doha has submitted a formal request to buy the Lockheed Martin Co LMT.N stealth fighter, sources told the agency, and is waiting for a response from the US. 

The bid follows a request by the UAE to purchase the F-35, citing its controversial normalisation deal with Israel as a factor in its favour.

Israel denied that a green light for the F-35 purchase was part of the normalisation agreement with the UAE, while leading Israeli figures saying they would pressure the US to deny Abu Dhabi's request.

Since then, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has softened his stance on the UAE's bid to purchase the F-35, while the US said the deal should go ahead.

Israel is also likely to resist Qatar's bid for the jet, as part of a US policy to maintain Israeli military dominance in the region.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also likely to strongly oppose the deal, Reuters reported, with both countries launching a blockade on Qatar in June 2017.

Even if the request is approved, it would be years before Qatar - or the UAE - acquire the $80 million jet.

While the US has close ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, it also considers Qatar a key regional ally and operates the Al-Udeid airbase in the Gulf state.

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